There are fundamental contradictions in contemporary management that conflict utilisation of management theory as compared to actual management practice in the organisation. Traditional and ideological models of management tend to paint a portrait that management is a statistical responsibility…
Critical theory makes agreement with such theorists as Karl Marx and Jurgen Habermas where “one must become conscious of how an ideology distorts reality” (MacIssac 1996, p.1). Thus, it should be highlighted that there are mitigating circumstances occurring within today’s organisations that absolutely conflict utilisation of some theoretical models of management to achieve profitability or market position gains. Critical management studies assist in deconstructing the real-time corporation, exposing the intangibles of business environment that require managerial acknowledgement of the influence of social systems in promoting business success. “CMS believes by reflecting and questioning existing management practices, it is possible to generate better norms, policies, ideas and management values” (Akella 2008, p. 102). This is why critical management studies are tightly linked to critical theory, as critical theory recognises the substantial importance of sociological factors that strongly influence managerial decision-making and employee willingness to accept change and meet performance targets. Critical theory provides a pragmatic model by which to deconstruct the legitimate corporate environment to identify opportunities to improve managerial function whilst taking into consideration more than simply traditionalist, ideological management models available. As identified by Max Weber and Focault, “between sociology as an empirical science and sociology as a philosophy, the dividing lines are quite clear” (Szackolczai 2001, p. 10). Critical management studies, as linked with critical theory, give business researchers and general society a new tool by which to understand the complexities of inter-dependent corporate systems...
The case study of the Indian call centre agents absolutely illustrates the dangers of managerial oversight into important dimensions of contemporary business practice that conflict establishment of a fair, ethical and mutually-rewarding model of organisational culture. Managers that believe in the classical approach to management whereby rigid control systems are established as a means of ensuring compliance are clearly present in the case study, where little concern is provided for securing the needs (however complex and varied) of employees suffering from perceived or tangible bullying practices. This case study provided an excellent basket of support for critical management studies using a contemporary lens, providing a sensible and realistic model of potential managerial improvement by examining much more than simply firm-level dynamics to determine the most effective managerial model. Even though, based on the case study, there is likely little opportunity for this bullying to be eliminated, as the highly-engrained corporate culture and rather laissez-faire attitude of managers continue to sanction organisational politics and worker oppression that is considered satisfactory for achieving, first and foremost, business and market advantages. Whether the call centre scenario changes is not necessarily relevant, however the case study illustrates that no acceptable managerial model can be adopted without providing consideration to employees psycho-socially. ...
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